Ferren and the Angel by Richard Harland
Never before have I read a book with such epic proportions, such potential, and such originality — and yet was written so carelessly and simplistically. What promises to be a future-fantasy-adventure along the lines of Philip Pullman's amazing His Dark Materials trilogy, instead reads like sci-fi pulp fiction.
Ferren and the Angel is set in the year 3000AD, after a series of scientific discoveries and heavenly experiments that resulted in a full out war between Heaven and Earth. The beginning of the book includes a time-line that includes entries such as “The Rising of the Undead,” the “Depopulation of New York,” “The Great Collapse,” and of course “The Invasion of Heaven,” as well as a map of the world in the future, which... Read More
Richard Harland(1947- )
Richard Harland is an Australian author who also writes in other genres and for all ages. You can read extracts from his novels at his website.
Heaven And Earth Trilogy (Ferren) — (2004) Young adult. Publisher: In the year 2010 after the Invasion of Heaven, human psychonauts trample the sacred fields of Heaven, & the angels retreat to higher altitudes to avoid the contamination of the physical. In the year 2520 the Millennial Wars have reduced the Earth to a devastated battleground. In the year 3000 the evil Humen are determined to destroy the power of Heaven, while the Residuals, a primitive race of people, live fearfully in the ruins of civilization. In the midst of this hatred & fear is born a unique friendship that could change the course of history.
Ferren and the Angel by Richard Harland
Ferren and the White Doctor by Richard Harland
This Heaven and Earth trilogy is original, exciting, interesting reading, but I still feel that with a little more work it could have gone from good to excellent and been placed among the likes of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Like those books, these deal with conflict between the forces of Heaven and the beings on Earth, but are set in this world, many years into the future.
After scientists discovered that there was indeed life after death, mankind went about exploiting Heaven, resulting in a collapse of the lower Altitudes onto Earth, an expulsion of all souls from Heaven (which now exist as woeful Morphs) and ongoing conflict between angels and Humens: the soulless mechanics ruled over by the Doctors. In between these two f... Read More
Worldshaker — (2010-2012) Ages 9-12 Publisher: Young adult. Steampunk. Col Porpentine understands how society works — the elite families enjoy a comfortable life on the Upper Decks on the great juggernaut Worldshaker, while the Filthies toil Below. And Col himself is being groomed by his grandfather, the supreme commander of Worldshaker, to be his successor. He has never questioned his place in the world, nor his illustrious future. When Col meets Riff, a Filthy girl on the run, his world is turned on its head. All his life he has been taught that the Filthies are like animals, without the ability to understand language or think for themselves. He has always known that all they are good for is serving in the Below, keeping Worldshaker running. But Riff is nothing like he ever expected. She is clever and quick, and despite the danger, Col is drawn to her. Can all the Filthies be like her? If Riff is telling the truth, then everything Col has always believed is a lie. And Col may be the only person with the power to do something about it — even if it means risking his whole future. Richard Harland’s sweeping steampunk saga of romance, privilege and social conscience will take readers on the ride of a lifetime to an enormous moving city that is at once strange and familiar.
Worldshaker by Richard Harland
Worldshaker by Richard Harland may, on first blush, remind potential readers of Philip Reeve’s Hungry City Chronicles, with both of them focused on huge mobile steampunk cities crisscrossing Europe. Harland’s work, however, is much more focused setting-wise, taking place entirely within the confines of the eponymous Worldshaker, and mostly within a few small decks of the immense craft. There are lots of other differences as well. Worldshaker is more focused on class themes, has much more over-the-top characters, and is more fully YA than Reeve’s work, by which I mean I’m not sure it will appeal as much to adults or older high school students.
The setting is a Victorian-era Europe that... Read More
The Black Crusade — (2004) Publisher: A gothic fantasy, grotesque and macabre with elements of bizarre comedy. It tells of a journey made by Basil Smorta in the company of a group of ‘Fundamental Darwinists’ across Eastern Europe in the year 1894. Along the way, the crusaders encounter memory-ghosts, love-vampires and a bomb-throwing police force. Basil cares only for the Australian singer with whom he has fallen in love or lust; unfortunately she’s locked up inside an iron box. It’s a book that defies categories and is almost impossible to describe. Think of a cross between Edgar Allan Poe and Jasper Fforde, or Mervyn Peake and South Park! The Black Crusade won the Golden Aurealis Award for Best Novel in Any Genre of SF/Fantasy/Horror.
Walter Wants to Be a Werewolf: Will Walter Grimm Ever Fit In? — (2006) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Every time the full moon shines, the Grimm family begin their transformation into werewolves-except for Walter, the youngest of the pack. But one moonlit night, his tale takes a surprising turn.